Jounieh Al-Galacticos overcame a 10-point half time deficit to claim a third Lebanese title on Saturday, defeating Immortals RLFC in the coastal city of Jounieh.
Al-Galacticos, who last appeared in the final in 2009, turned in a magnificent second half, with Raymond Sabat playing the ultimate captain’s role with a staggering five-try haul in the final 20 minutes to seal a 50-36 triumph.
“It was a really tough game but an enjoyable journey,” said Jounieh coach Ghassan Dandash. “We were doubted a lot since we had so many rookies on our team; we sustained a lot of injuries, but the semi final [in which they defeated Tripoli Kings 36-22] showed us we stood a chance in the final.
“Our strategy was simple but efficient. Last week was a real blast with training every day and everyone in the right mind set, and when the game started we just knew what we were doing. It was all a great team effort, all season long since day one.”
A vocal home crowd of approximately 500 roared the gold-and-whites on.
Robin Hachache, Immortals coach, said: “I couldn’t see us winning the game in the last 10 minutes as I could see in Jounieh’s eyes that they wanted to win more than us, It was a good game but we gave the game away in the second half.”
LRLF official Remond Safi added, “I’m pleased to see the season finish off on a high note considering all the disruptions throughout the season through the country’s instability and bombings. It was a great family atmosphere witnessed by all in attendance. Well done to Jounieh with a great finish to their season, all their hard work throughout it has paid off today.”
Week 22 LRL: GRAND FINAL, Fouad Chehab Stadium
JOUNIEH 50 IMMORTALS 36
Half time – 16-26
S. Abi Saab, C. Abi Sater, M. Abou Jamra, A. Awad, G. Dandach, Z. Khoury, M. Khoury, R. Khoury, S. Moubarak, P. Nasr, R. Sabat, M. Salameh, S. Sokhen, J. Tannous. R. Taouk, T. Wehbe, N. Ziade
Tries: Ghassan Dandach 17th ,36th, Pierre Nasr 27th , Michael Abou Jamra 54th , Raymond Sabat 60th, 63rd, 69th, 75th, 78th. Jounieh
Goals: Ghassan Dandach 7/9
R. Abi Raad, N. Abi Said, F. Beaini, E. Dalbani, C. Dalati, M. Finan, R. Finan, R. Hachache, A. Itani, Y Khoury, T. Hammoud, K. Jammal, O. Jarouch, D. Mikkawi, J. Rmeily, H. Shaheen, R. Zouhayri
Tries: Robin Hachache 4th ,21st , Tarek Hammoud 9th ,52nd, 72nd , Hassan Shaheen 32nd , Rayan Abi Raad 39th. Immortals
Goals: Karim Jammal 4/7
Referee : Mikhael Shammas.
Touch Judges: Gabby Haddad, Lara Saab.
Fourth Official: Nader Mgheit